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Adding your adult child as a "joint tenant" will not jeopardize your existing property tax, but you will have to file a claim to avoid reassessment.
If a transfer of real property results in the transfer of the present interest and beneficial use of the property, the value of which is substantially equal to the value of the fee interest, then such transfer would constitute a change in ownership unless a statutory exclusion applies. While a transfer of real property may constitute a change in ownership, the legislature has created a number of exclusions so that some types of transfers are excluded, by law, from the definition of change in ownership. Thus, for these types of transfers, the real property will not be reappraised.
An exclusion occurs when the assessor does not reassess a property because the property or portions of the property are automatically excluded from reassessment or is eligible to be excluded if the owner properly files a claim. The following list covers most changes in ownership that are excluded from reassessment, either automatically or by claim; however, there may be other excludable qualifying transactions not listed here. Thus, you should contact your local assessor or an attorney if you have a specific transaction that you would like to discuss.
Changes in ownership that require a claim to be filed to avoid reassessment include the following:
- Transfers of the principal place of residence between parents and their children (there is no limit on the value of the residence) if a completed application is filed timely with the county assessor's office (Proposition 58).
- Transfers of up to $1 million of real property between parents and their children, other than a principal place of residence, if a completed application is filed timely with the county assessor's office (Proposition 58).
- Transfers of a principal place of residence from grandparents to their grandchildren, but not vice versa (and the transfer of up to $1 million of other real property from grandparents to their grandchildren) provided that:
- the transfer occurs on or after March 26, 1996;
- the grandchild(ren)’s parent (grandparent’s child) died on or before the date of transfer; and
- a completed application is timely filed with the county assessor's office (Proposition 193).
- Transfers of the principal residence between two cotenants that occur upon the death of one of the cotenants, provided that:
- The two cotenants together owned 100 percent of the property as tenants in common or joint tenants.
- The two cotenants must be owners of record for the one-year period immediately preceding the death of one of the cotenants.
- The property must have been the principal residence of both cotenants for the one-year period immediately preceding the death of one of the cotenants.
- The surviving cotenant must obtain a 100 percent interest in the property.
- The surviving cotenant must sign an affidavit affirming that he or she continuously resided at the residence for the one-year period preceding the decedent cotenant's date of death.
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